Today, we rely on software for almost everything. Thus, software as a service (SaaS) products are in boom now. Yes, of course, from our businesses, education, and shopping to most of our routine activities, we need software. Most of us can’t imagine a day without mobile apps. We use apps for messaging, meetings, shopping, and whatnot.
Thus, software development firms are constantly striving to meet the software needs of organizations, businesses, customers, students, and almost everyone under the sky. Hands down, everyone uses SaaS applications without even realizing it. For instance, Zoom, and Gmail are some examples of SaaS applications.
The recent software development cycle faces a lot of hiccups and changes during every phase. Software professionals often find it challenging to adapt to the new methodology to deliver better products.
Agile Methodology came to rescue those software development teams to deliver high-quality software that meets stakeholder requirements in a defined time. Moreover, Agile Methodology offers more flexibility than traditional approaches, helping teams to meet evolving changes, market trends, and unexpected technology challenges.
With increasing competition and customer demand, companies can no longer afford to follow lengthy procedures, documentation, and slow delivery of products. Hence, almost all organizations today embrace Agile software development. Thus, they can deliver better products in a relatively shorter duration.
What is Agile Methodology? Why should you adapt it for Software Development? Read on.
What is Agile Methodology?
Software development lifecycle today undergoes many changes and alterations during every phase. Thus, almost all software companies face the challenge of bringing quality software products to the market on time.
Agile software development has shown significant progress in developing applications in this technology-driven atmosphere. Yes, agile methodology is very beneficial in helping software development teams to deliver high-quality software products on time. Thus, the software firms can stay ahead of their competitors, thereby generating high ROIs.
Agile software development or Agile Methodology refers to software development methodologies that predominantly focus on iterative development. In agile, the team gathers requirements and brings solutions by actively collaborating between self-organizing cross-functional teams. Thus the team can deliver better products by adapting to evolving changes and needs in a shorter duration.
Modern companies prefer Agile methods as they afford better flexibility when compared to traditional waterfall approaches, helping to meet the evolving needs, market changes, and unexpected technology setbacks. Scrum and Kanban are well-known Agile methodologies that are in wide use.
How does Agile Methodology work?
Of course, you can use many Agile methodologies to manage your projects. However, Scrum being the most popular Agile methodology, let’s see how Scrum works?
Values of Scrum:
- Individuals and Mindsets are crucial to any process and tool. Thus, the team will respond and adapt better to evolving changes and are more likely to meet customer needs.
- Agile encourages more focus on working software rather than on documentation. In traditional methods, people had invested a huge amount of time in documentation, resulting in long delays. Though Agile Manifesto values documentation, it emphasizes more focus on working software.
- Agile focuses on collaboration between the customer and the project manager instead of negotiations between the two. Yes, the customer is involved in the entire development process, enabling the team to meet the customer’s needs effortlessly.
- Agile enables teams to better respond to changes and adapt to new ideas. In traditional software development, companies thought of changes as an unnecessary expense. But, the short iterations in Agile enable it to adopt changes faster and create better products matching the customer needs rather than sticking with the process.
Agile methodologies, especially Scrum, work on a set of values, principles, team roles, meetings, and artifacts. Agile methodologies are a good alternative to the traditional command-and-control management approaches.
Scrum involves working in a small, self-governing team consisting of around 4 to 9 people. They are often known as the Scrum team. The Scrum team is highly flexible, adaptive, and cross-functional. Scrum uses the timeboxing concept to define the time for each event.
The Scrum team members must possess the knowledge and skills needed to achieve the set goals. The Scrum team sets the priorities and allocates resources, delivering better products to customers.
The main components of Agile Methodology implementation:
It includes a product owner, development team, and scrum master. The leader of the team empowers the team to make decisions.
Principles of the Scrum Team:
The Scrum Team follows the below principles.
Transparency — The project is visible to all at all times.
Inspection — The Scrum team frequently audits the work and checks the progress towards the sprint goal. Thus, the team can detect errors and unwanted variances earlier.
Adaptation — If more than one factor deviates from expected results, the team will work towards minimizing deviation.
The Scrum team completes the Scrum events within a defined duration. The Scrum events include the Sprint, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective. All of these events are timeboxed hence the team knows the duration of every meeting.
The Scrum Team completes defined tasks in small intervals called Sprints. These sprints should not exceed four weeks, and the team should have a specific goal. The Scrum Team will do daily status meetings called Daily Scrums of around 15 minutes to check the task status.
The team conducts Sprint Reviews at the end of every Sprint. Thus, the customer will get to know the update of the project. The review is often analyzed and implemented for the project improvement in the Sprint Retrospective.
The customer actively participates in the project alongside the Scrum Team. Thus, the team will deliver quality output accomplishing the Sprint goal.
The Scrum team will review and adapt changes at any stage of the project. Unlike traditional project management methods, Scrum focuses on individual responsibility and roles. Every team member takes accountability for tasks and completes them in the estimated time. Hence, even the most complex and time-consuming project will come to the market fast with a well-functioning mechanism and collaborative work.
Why should you adapt Agile for Software Development?
Here are some top reasons for adapting Agile for software development:
In the traditional project methodology, the defects and errors accumulate quickly since the team focuses on adding new features to maintain the pace with the project timeline. Thus, the team spends most of its time resolving defects, refactoring, and testing in the later stage of the project.
With Agile software development, the team reviews the defects, and feature changes often and adds the maintenance tasks as a product backlog. Then the team reviews the backlog during every sprint planning session and addresses the issues precisely. Thus, one can fix defects of the project instantly after every sprint.
Adapt to Changes Swiftly:
The Agile Methodology emphasizes and encourages changes and adapts them. Yes, Agile acknowledges the evolving customer needs and reinforces the team to embrace the changes. Moreover, Agile involves teams working in time-bound iterations.
Since the team works in time-bound iterations, it need not wait for lengthy requirement changes, reviews, and approval processes. In fact, any change or maintenance item gets added to the backlog and allotted to the upcoming sprint depending on priority and business needs.
Streamline the Project and Increased Transparency:
Unlike the waterfall approach, the Agile software development method encourages collaboration and involvement of teams. Before every sprint, the entire team reviews validate, and agrees on user stories assigned to the sprint.
The entire team, including developers, analysts, testers, and product owners, work together to accomplish the goals. Thus, every team member stays on the same page working towards the common goal. Each team member verifies every feature and works closely with the developers throughout the sprint to ensure the project meets the customer’s needs.
In the traditional approach, product testing will happen in the end phase of software development. Hence, the team will be unsure whether the product will meet the customer’s needs or not.
With the Agile Methodology, the teams get reviews on every act as they develop in sprints. Thus, they quickly determine if they are on track and adjust accordingly. Also, since the sprints are customer-focused, then the team can be sure of releasing high-quality products.
In the traditional waterfall methodology, the project focuses on developing new features. Hence there will be little time left for testing. In the Agile Methodology, the team will not develop all features at once. The team works on a smaller set of features for every sprint. Hence, the developers can perfect every feature before release.
Plus, Agile focuses on continuous integration, incorporating all developer’s tasks into a shared repository several times a day. Thus, developers can test issues and fix them immediately. All of that ensures a high-quality product at the end.
Predictable Project Duration:
In the waterfall method, the lengthy project phases will pave to unpredictable project delivery dates. In Agile methodology, the project happens in iterations. Every iteration happens in time-boxed sprints that result in a working product at each release. Hence, the product owner knows that they will get new features at the end of every sprint.
Optimal Stakeholder Involvement:
Involving the product owner in the software development process will ensure product success. But, in the traditional waterfall approach, stakeholders often will not participate beyond the requirement gathering phase. But, here in Agile Sprints, the product owners are active participants. Thus, they enjoy a sense of ownership and engage in full swing.
Agile reinforces delivering the product as per customer needs. Since the product owner works closely with the team, they gain a clear understanding of the requirements. In Agile software development, user requirements are often known as user stories. These stories define providing a valuable product to the customer. Thus, user stories are much better than the lengthy requirement list of waterfall methodology, ensuring customer-oriented products.
Happy and Satisfied Customers:
The team understands the requirements clearly due to the active involvement of the product owner in the Agile Development and testing process. Hence, the team will come up with better products that will bring a solution to the customers. Also, since the stakeholders will see the working product at the end of each sprint, the team can release the product much faster.
Better Coordination and Efficient Work:
The entire team including, the designer, developers, testers, and the product owner, works hand in hand from the start. Thus, they can collaborate and work together efficiently.
Daily meetings make every team member aware of project status, encouraging them to fix any issues quickly. Planning meetings enable teams to prepare for the upcoming sprint. Retrospectives encourage the team to learn from previous sprints and apply new tactics to improve in future sprints.
Thus Agile software development and testing enable the team to adapt to requirement changes without delaying release dates. Plus, delivering high-quality products in a relatively shorter time will ensure happy customers, for sure.
In today’s fast-paced world, organizations often face competitive threats, changing market dynamics, technological advancement, and evolving needs of modern customers. Companies must adapt to changes quickly and deliver better products and services to customers. Else, they will be left out in the market and eventually go out of business.
Agile Methodology enables organizations to cope with changing market trends, and evolving customer need, and build better products in a shorter duration. Plus, Agile is not only restricted to software firms but it can be used across varied business industries. Hence, business owners regardless of the industry must adapt to Agile Methodology.
Having read about the benefits of Agile Methodology in detail, what’s your take on it? Start implementing Agile Methodology for software development now to reap benefits for the years to come.